Rock and roll rhetoric: Merry Xmas Everybody

Are you hanging up the stocking on your wall? Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall? Do you ride on down the hillside In a buggy you have made? When you land upon your head Then you’ve been slayed. Merry Xmas Everybody (Holder, Lea), Slade A raucous, joyous Christmas favourite and a […]

Christmas, Dickens, Desk

From the Dickens Museum, situated in Charles Dickens’ London home of 48 Doughty Street, I learn that Dickens had a pet Raven named Grip (actually he had three Grips in succession). The pet was the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem. I discovered Poe’s Raven through the invaluable Execupundit. Aside from Dickens’ desk, above, […]

You never have to charge a notebook – The Cramped

The Cramped has a nice quote from Richard Branson on the important discipline of making notes: … the key is making writing a welcome habit. But keep a little pad in your back pocket just in case—you never have to charge a notebook. Read the full quote, here.

The power and importance of imagery @TheTimes #Writing

An interesting piece from yesterday’s Times on the power of vivid imagery to engage and influence. Ancient literary critics called this quality enargeia, the ability to instil a scene so powerfully in the reader’s mind that they feel as though they are living through it themselves. Psychologists studying how 402 people responded to classic Japanese haikus […]

Heroes, villains and tears in rain – @SPressfield #Writing

Another great post from Steven Pressfield’s Writing Wednesdays took me back to Bladerunner (the 1978 film). The replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) gives the most powerful, most human speech… I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser […]

Time, forgetting and incubation – Oliver Sacks on creativity @Brainpicker #Writing

Maria Popova’s BrainPickings.org has an interesting piece on creativity and Oliver Sacks’ essay on the subject. It takes a special energy, over and above one’s creative potential, a special audacity or subversiveness, to strike out in a new direction once one is settled. It is a gamble as all creative projects must be, for the […]

Napoleon’s Kindle #Writing

From Cork County Library and Open Culture, via the wonderful Cramped blog: “Many of Napoleon’s biographers have incidentally mentioned that he […] used to carry about a certain number of favorite books wherever he went, whether traveling or camping,” says an 1885 Sacramento Daily Union article posted by Austin Kleon, “but it is not generally known that he […]

On Orwell’s Politics and the English Language #Writing

As the BBC unveils a statue of George Orwell, The Times’ Oliver Kamm takes a fresh look at Orwell’s famous essay Politics and the English Language:  Orwell’s essay is a misconceived and blundering polemic whose rules are alternately facile, foolish and destructive. The essay’s opening sentence betrays its tendentiousness: “Most people who bother with the […]

The weight of paper

One of my corporate clients is an icon of the virtual world, a pioneer that took a process as old as civilisation itself – the visceral exchange of cold, hard cash – and converted it into a convenience of clicks and bits. The firm’s customers love it and it invests heavily in supportig them with […]

Dived or dove? I say not you are wrong. #Writing

Here’s an interesting piece on the evolution of grammar. It’s more random that you think. The study also revealed that a flower today is more likely to be “smelled” rather than “smelt” and that the neighbour’s cat probably “dove” behind the sofa – although, as Plotkin notes, British felines remain more likely to have dived. […]

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